flag image

Ossipee selectmen stand by abatement decision

March 24, 2011
OSSIPEE — Selectmen here are standing by their decision not to abate property taxes for the Ennis property they discovered earlier this year is actually in Tuftonboro.

They were invited to head over to Tuftonboro but declined the invitation to meet with selectmen there. The Tuftonboro board was hoping they might be able to change the Ossipee board's mind.

Surveyor Paul King of Tamworth was hired by Tuftonboro and Ossipee to mark the boundary line between the two towns by walking the line and marking points based on existing surveys and using equipment including a compass and GPS. With the completion of Ossipee's new tax maps this year, there were areas along the line not clearly defined by the digital mapping process. King was hired to clarify the boundary.

The Tuftonboro and Ossipee selectmen are in agreement with King's findings – Barry Ennis's land is in Ossipee and Tuftonboro, his house in Tuftonboro and an outbuilding on the same property is split down the middle with half in each town.

Ennis got an Ossipee building permit, constructed a three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath cape that was completed mid-2008 and was assessed with the land and outbuilding at $245,925.

Given that the property tax rate is higher in Ossipee, Ennis filed for an abatement of the 2010 property taxes. If it had been granted, Tuftonboro selectmen had agreed to then assess his property in their town and issue a tax bill to collect Tuftonboro taxes.

In February, Selectmen Kathleen Maloney and Morton Leavitt voted against granting the abatement while Harry Merrow voted in favor.

In response to the invitation from Tuftonboro selectmen to attend their March 28 meeting to reconsider, Ossipee selectmen issued a letter that states, in part, "While we make every effort to cooperate with the selectboards from nearby communities, we would take this opportunity to advise you that our decision not to abate the Ennis taxes is final and not subject to change or negotiations….There is no logical reason that Mr. Ennis should not have been assessed during that period of time his property was considered to be in the Town of Ossipee in consideration of the services he was receiving."

Property tax assessments are based on the April 1 deadline each year. Assessors use that date as a guide and whatever exists on a property as of April 1 of each year, be it a partially completed house, a subdivided lot, a completed garage, etc. is how property owners are taxed. Then, if additional improvements or other changes to a property are made during the course of the ensuing year, those are added to the tax rolls effective the following April 1.

As of April 1, Ossipee selectmen contend, all parties believed the Ennis property to be in Ossipee and it wasn't until the results of the perambulation of the town's boundary lines on Dec. 13, 2010 revealed that most of Ennis' property was actually in Tuftonboro.

Other business

Selectmen here set the date for the annual Earth Day event to be held at the town's transfer station April 23. More details will be available as the date gets closer. The once-a-year event waives the fees traditionally charged to residents who dispose of bulky items such as appliances, furniture, etc., offering them a chance to do some spring cleaning on their own property as well as clean up the roadsides without paying dumping fees.

The Kingswood Lancers will be conducting a sign-up session for youth interested in playing football or cheerleading in the fall. Those interested can sign up tonight, March 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. upstairs at Ossipee Town Hall.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
Littleon Food Coop
Littleon Food Coop
Town of Barnsted
Thanks for visiting SalmonPress.com